If there is one story that has marred Sasikala’s reputation among the people of Tamil Nadu, it is the one by Tehelka that claimed that she was suspected of trying to poison Jayalalithaa in 2011.
Though, there never has been any proof of the same and Jayalalithaa herself maintained a stoic silence on the issue, the controversy has dominated many conversations.
Now, Sasikala’s brother V Dhivaharan has added a new spin to the story. In a speech made during a Pongal related event in Thanjavur, the man known as Sasikala’s closest confidante said that there was plot to ‘finish off’ Jayalalithaa in 2011.
In December 2011, Sasikala was thrown out of Jayalalithaa’s residence and suspended from the party for a few months.
“You saw the kind of treachery that happened in 2011. In 2011, there was a huge conspiracy against us. They wanted to remove us so that they can finish off Amma. Nothing happened then, we stopped it. We don't have any hidden agenda,” Dhivaharan said.
Dhivaharan however did not elaborate on who hatched this plot and how.
He also claimed that there was a threat to the lives of Sasikala, her family and second-rung leaders of the AIADMK.
“Some predicted that in the month of January, the AIADMK government will collapse. We have defeated all those conspiracies and Amma's Govt is continuing,” he said.
Dhivaharan devoted quite a bit of time in his eight minute-speech praising himself and Sasikala’s husband Natarajan, who was also at the function.
“We are not mushrooms that sprouted today due to rain yesterday. We are not new to politics, everyone has played their part in AIADMK's progress over the years. But it is important to mention Natarajan’s contributions. He saved the party after MGR. He was instrumental in getting back the two leaves symbol of the AIADMK which was blocked by the EC,” he said.
He also claimed, “Everyone can forget his contribution, but I can’t. In spite of threats to our lives, we strived for the party and made Jayalalithaa the opposition leader and then the CM. Youngsters now don’t know this history.”
Dhivaharan’s speech has created a division of opinion within the AIADMK.
Taking exception to Dhivaharan’s statement, AIADMK leader Krishnagiri KP Munuswamy said, “These are people who had no position in the party, were not liked by Amma. They are creating power centres by making such claims,” he said.
Law Minister CV Shanmugham in turn called Munusamy a traitor and said that he could have raised his grievances with the party leadership. “He should not have spoken to media. Sasikala’s family is not interfering in the party’s affairs,” he said.
Not just Shanmugham, many others ministers too have slammed Munusamy.
Dhivaharan also said that the AIADMK was going through tough times. “We have no expectations and we have only worked to save the AIADMK. Our focus is to save MGR's party. Many are trying to create trouble for us. They want to ensure that we are taken down, so they can dismantle the party,” he said.